Joy

The Joy of the Lord is my strength

My little girl skips through life finding joy in the most simplest of things. Her sweet smile and cute giggles is enough to melt your heart. She is still young and does not have the weight of the world on her shoulders yet, everything that she sees and hears is lovely and good and the only thing that she has to be concerned about is whether to wear her silver sparkly sneakers or her pink ones!

As young children all we want to do is be a grown up so we can do grown up things. But when we are grown ups all we want to do is be young again so that we can be stress free, living life without a care in the world and being that little girl who skips through life finding joy in the most simplest of things.

God has created us to be joyful. He did not create us to be stressed, worried or anxious. God is joyful… I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:11) …. Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10).

And we need to be the joyful people of God that He created us to be and to represent Him to the world around us.… But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful (Psalm 68:3) … And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:52)

The world is full of hopelessness and despair. Every time we watch, listen or read the news it is almost always full of bad news. If we constantly feed ourselves with bad news all the time, we will start to live from a place of fear and despair. The Lord has created us to be joyful but how do we live in that place when all this craziness is all going on around us?

We can pray for all the things that are going on in our crazy world or in our own lives but we do not need to carry the heaviness of these burdens. Jesus said…

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus frees us from our burdens. We can pray and then we need to ask the Lord to take the heavy burden from us. It is no longer ours to worry about or to feel fear and anxiety over. In exchange for our heavy burdens He gives us rest in the form of peace and joy.

We can have peace and joy because we know who God is. He is faithful to take care of us and to provide for us and He gives us strength and wisdom to weather our storms. He is this and so much more for us, and when we know this we can rest in His love and have peace in our lives and we can be that joyful person He created us to be.

So if you find yourself lacking peace and joy in your life I encourage you to reacquaint yourself with who Father God is, rediscover His nature and His ways. Come into His presence and pray for the things that are on your heart and then give them over to God to take care of.

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Finding peace

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You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself is the rock eternal. Isaiah 26: 3-4

Recently I was experiencing a lack of peace in my life. The reason I could tell that I was without peace was because I couldn’t sleep at night. It would take me forever to fall asleep and if I did manage to drift off I couldn’t stay asleep for long. I would be wide awake throughout the night, tossing and turning and just willing myself to fall back asleep. And then mixed up in all of that is my little ones waking in the night and disturbing the little sleep that I did manage to get.

My days become long and hard simply because I was so tired. Night would come again and the wrestle to fall asleep would start all over again. I needed peace to reign in my life simply so that I could get a decent nights rest.

As I went to sleep one night I asked my hubby to pray for me. He layed his hand upon my head and asked the Lord to release His peace upon me so that I could rest. The Lord was gracious and I did receive a good nights sleep, but it wasn’t just about getting sleep for me. Something had me in a place of experiencing no peace and I needed to find out why.

When my husband prayed for me and layed hands on me, he didn’t just touch my arm, he laid his hand upon my head, on my mind. I was experiencing a lack of true peace in my mind.

I had allowed my mind to get away from me. I have quite a wild imagination and sometimes it runs away from me and this had been the case. I had lost my trust and hope in the Lord and fear had come walking into my life. Ever so subtly, I didn’t even realize that it had happened until the sleepless nights had begun.

I had let my current circumstances distract me from God. Does this ever happen to you? You find yourself going along in life just fine and then something comes flying around the corner straight at you and you become startled and confused and you loose sight of God for a moment and we begin to scramble out of our own strength to deal with whatever has come at us.

It is so easy to get caught up with what is going on in us and around us that we lose our focus on God. We forget what God has said and what He thinks and we begin to rely on our own thoughts.  The good news is that we can stop thinking our own thoughts and start living by faith.

Our minds need to be steadfast. In Isiah 26:3 it says that we can have perfect peace when our mind is steadfast. This means that we have a mind always fixed and focused on the Lord. On who He is for us, what He has said to us and what He says about us. We need to trust the Lord. We need to have faith that He is who He says He is and will do what He said He would do. Then you can live in His perfect peace.

Home. The beginning of a new and unknown season.

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We have arrived safe and sound back at home in our little city by the sea. After all that tiresome traveling it is so good to be home and in our own little house and in our own comfy beds. It was so wonderful to see our loved ones and to be in familiar surroundings once again. There were so many things that I missed about home so it has been so much fun experiencing all those things once again.

We now find ourselves at the beginning of a new and rather unknown season but I can tell you that I feel as though I am walking into this season with great peace. I have placed my complete trust in God for I know that He is bigger than my fears of the unknown and He is bigger than any problems that may arise.

God and I have a rich history together. He has proven himself faithful time and time again to me that He is a God who provides. He has always made a way when I could see no way through the forest, He has always cast a light to lead me in the right direction and He has always gone before me to make sure the path is stable and secure.

When the worry or the anxious feelings begin to creep in I just remind myself that God is the everlasting God who gives me the strength to continue in the unknown. I cast my fears on Him to carry and in return He gives me His strength and peace. I know that all things will work together for good I just need patience in the waiting for my dreams to be fulfilled.

 If peace is something you desire then remember this verse….

 …. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself is the rock eternal. Isaiah 26 v3-4.

Remain steadfast, holding on strong to your trust and faith in the Lord. Stand upon His word and His promises for that is firm ground. He is a good good Father and He will strengthen you with His love and you can walk through your season with great peace.

Things to remember….

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Recently we took a drive up to the mountains to see the snow. There is just something so magical about snow. It covers the ground like a thick white blanket and everything becomes still and quiet. The snow glistens and sparkles in the sunlight, it is so pretty. I think the thing that draws me in the most is the way that it silences everything. The water stops babbling in the river, the leaves and twigs stop crunching underneath us and the ground is silent, free from the thumping of running and jumping feet. Peace descends.

Peace is something that I am always seeking. Peace in my life, peace in my home, peace in my heart. I read this quote recently – Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time. Lyndon B Johnson.

This is so true. One step at a time in the right direction.

When you put your cares in Gods hands, He puts His peace in your heart. His peace is perfect and it gives life. His peace gives us freedom, freedom from distraction, anxiety and fear. Peace will silence these things.

Our Father wants us to remember these things, to hold them dearly in our hearts so that His perfect peace can fill us.

He will give you rest.

He will strengthen you.

He will answer you when you call.

He believes in you.

He will bless you.

He is for you not against you.

He will not fail you.

He will provide for you.

He will be with you, always.

He loves you.

Meditate on these things, write them on the palms of your hands, hide them away in your heart. May they fill you with peace and strength so that you remain steadfast on the journey of a thousand miles.

You will keep in perfect peace those who’s minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord himself is the rock eternal. Isaiah 26: 3-4

He created her lovely, beautiful.

IMG_7996 IMG_7987IMG_7999IMG_8002I am totally in love with this little girl. She just gets cuter and sweeter as she grows. She loves music and dances all the time, every time the music stops she says more more more. She loves it when I chase her and catch her and then tickle her, her laughter is like sweet music and again she says more more more. She is learning so many new things and it is wonderful to watch her. I probably have said this at every stage of her growing up but this is such a delightful age and we are having so much fun together.

As her mother I have so many things I want to show her and impart to her. One thing that has been on my mind lately is about having inner peace with yourself. A heart at peace gives life to the body. In particular about having peace over who she is and who she is called to be.

I want her to know that beauty and happiness are perfected on the inside. That beauty in not defined by how you look, your measurements or the worlds standard of beauty. I want her to know that God created her and he fashioned every detail about her. He created her lovely, beautiful. I want her to be who He called her to be.

I think many people, me included struggle with this.We forget that we are created in His image. He made us and we are lovely. When did we stop listening to the creator and start listening to the lies? Someone once said to me whatever you believe is true to you so be careful what you believe.

I want her to walk with a faith of knowing and believing within herself that she is beautiful. That she is a child of God.That she is a princess, a daughter of the most high King.

When we understand that we are created in the image of God and that he deeply loves us and accepts us we can then accept ourselves. We are called to be free, to serve one another humbly in love and to walk by the spirit. To love others first we have to love ourselves. When we accept ourselves we are accepting our unchangeable physical features. When we can do that then we can focus on more important things in life such as our character. We can then strengthen our love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

I want her to know that her beauty is more than  just what is on the outside. I want her to know that loveliness and beauty runs deep. I want her to be strong in character. Her love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control will shine out of her like the dawn, like a crown of splendor.

Again, to teach these things to my daughter I must show her. I must learn to love myself as God does and to only speak good things over myself. To make sure that what I believe lines up with the truth about who God says that I am. I need to walk with a faith of knowing and believing that I am beautiful. I need to perfect my character and let that be my focus instead of what I see in the mirror each day.